I was sure I’d never, ever forget a single moment of my journey to becoming a “real” writer. Oh, there are things I do remember, like the very, very first encouraging letter. It was sent to me by an actual theater creative director and he said that “…one can appreciate the playwright’s word choices…”
He called me a playwright. I still feel the sense of wonder at that moment of “realness.” He also commented on my characterization. It was a confidence boost I needed right then. I pinned it to my bulletin board, where I could look at it when needed that boost again. That letter carried me over a lot of rejections.
|Box of memories|
Like the one from Playgirl Magazine. I expected the rejection, but was hoping for a more interesting letter. You can’t imagine my disappointment when it arrived rigorously bland. Okay, I should have expected it, but if I ran an,,,interesting magazine, I’d make sure the rejection letters were more fun. (grin)
I remember the highs and the lows of the last, well, let’s just say its a lot of years, but what actually prompted this blog post wasn’t the things I remember. I pulled out an old box filled with research material for my Lonesome Lawmen books, thinking I’d do a blog post on something from it. Wow. Take a gander at the now useless floppy disk and, yeah, that is a video tape. It’s a tape of the hubby filming the environs of my story for me (and almost getting arrested, which is another blog post).
|It was also my first book nominated
for a reviewer’s choice award!
No, this is a blog post about the things you forget when pushing toward a goal. It’s easy to compare our progress to others and I’m as guilty as this anyone else. When you divide the number of years I’ve been writing by the number of published books, well, it is easy to feel like, not a failure exactly, but like I haven’t reached the goal posts I’d eyed up when I admitted that I wasn’t going to settle for being a writer. I wanted to be an author. And yeah, I wanted to be a famous, best-selling author, because who doesn’t want that? But if you’re in the business, you know there’s a strong line of defense guarding those goal posts, even with all the recent changes in publishing.
So I’m sitting at, say the 50 yard line in publishing, and the seventy-five yard line in my life (not my age, it’s a metaphor, okay?), thinking I could have done more, written more–run through those goal posts while I could still run. (I’m not at the point of tottering, but I have an agreement with gravity. I won’t run and it won’t cause things to jiggle.) So I was feeling a bit…contemplative and then I opened this box to my writing past.
It wasn’t all of my adventures in publishing, but diving into the box reminded me of those early inches and feet and yards I gained during those first years.
Out of the box I pulled first reviews for that first release, articles by me and about my work, contest announcements, information shared, networking, early promotion efforts, conferences attended, play scripts, movie scripts, and rough drafts. Well, if my adventures were a football field, that first half of the field showed a lot of movement as I learned the craft of writing, the business of writing, and built my support network.
The photos in the blog post aren’t pin worthy and they are only of interest to me. Not even sure my kids would be that interested. I try not to make my blog posts all about me, because I know that writing books doesn’t make a person interesting. I do know that this little trip into the past has been good for me. I didn’t find everything that I began to remember from those early years, but I also didn’t find anything I regret. I wasn’t perfect on this journey, but I did my best and that’s all anyone can hope.
|My first published novel and first finished novel.|